The $15,000 reason why you should always read your emails

There’s nothing more daunting than waking up to an inbox flooded with emails.

Just be mindful that the one you miss could cost you big time.

Responding to emails can take hours of your work day, but let this be a lesson for those who never get back to others and let inboxes become burial grounds for discarded salutations and spam.

Airbnb made its public debut on Wall Street last week, where it created a ruckus a day by blowing past expectations shortly after DoorDash made its IPO earlier in the week. Shares of the house-sharing app were listed at $68 last Thursday before they nearly tripled when going public, with shares rising as high as $165.

Since then, a downgrade was announced earlier this week and shares have began to slide. At noon Tuesday, Airbnb was trading at $123 and change.

But this isn’t the point of the story; it’s about the email that was ignored by many from Airbnb and how it cost them thousands of dollars.

NPR reported that shortly before Airbnb made its debut on the stock market, the company sent emails out to hosts with the subject line “Airbnb’s Directed Share Program.”

The email, which seemed to be decorated in jumbled jargon, asked the Airbnb hosts if they were interested in buying shares at $68 apiece, with a maximum purchase of 275 shares until the company lowered the number due to demand.

So what happened? Tom Krones, who hosts in Austin, Texas, told the radio program that he was going to buy-in later. Sharon Milner Honza discarded it as junk mail.

“I get a ton of spam, a ton of stuff. And I saw it and I said, ‘This is something I need to go back and take a closer look at,’ but I didn’t read all the details of it,” said Sara Shea, a host in Asheville, N.C.

At $68 a share, one host did decide to take advantage of the email. He purchased $200 shares and sold them at $144 apiece, which amounted to nearly $15,000.

It’s not going to be every day that a company is going to reach out to you about investing at a discount, but it is a friendly reminder that reading your emails is important. While it’s exhausting to sift through dozens of unanswered pings from colleagues and outsiders, you never know exactly what might be behind a subject line.

Many emails go unanswered simply because email triage, or when someone procrastinates what to do with the email. But at work, ignored emails is a big problem.

Sixty percent of respondents in a recent study said they ignore emails at work, with 30% of employees admitting they never log on after work to check their inbox. One of the reasons why employees are skipping email duties is because it takes time away from production, and receiving fewer emails would actually increase their job satisfaction.